Research for a WIP

For the first time in my writing, I am doing serious research for a work in progress. I’m writing a short story for a project for my writing group, and I am writing a historical fiction.

Up to now, I have either written fantasy or contemporary. As fantasy is my preferred genre to read, that is what I like to write. Air Fay is set in a fantasy world – so all my rules.

My other WIP is an urban fantasy – so it’s set in modern times with magic, again my rules. And my other two WIP ideas are contemporary, although when I get around to one of these it will need research.

For Air Fay, the only real research that I did was in developing the names. I spent a lot of time – and a big spreadsheet later – coming up with names that are significant to the book.

Back to my short story WIP, I am currently reading a book that was written in the 1970s about the 1800s.

And more fun, I have been exploring the place where my story is set and linking the historical account to the modern buildings.

I’m torn between doing the research to be accurate, and just writing the story and only mentioning the surroundings briefly.

Setting vs plot.

The Ashamed Fern

“Almond milk, please?” she gives her coffee order. 
“Name?” the young barista askes without glancing up. “Freya. F-R-E-Y-A.” 
The barista scrawls a few letters as Freya thinks, that won’t be my name. The barista confirms the price, and Freya waves her phone over the machine.
Freya waits by the collection point. When the cup appears in front of her, she looks at her name with a sigh: F-E-R-N. Well, at least they got the ‘F’ right. 

She walks quickly, balancing her coffee, bag, and umbrella. She pauses in the doorway of her office building’s lobby, perches her coffee on the side while she closes her umbrella. Fishing out her pass, she picks up her coffee and hurries in. She catches a lift as the doors were closing.

“Hey!” said the man in the lift as she steps in. “Fern.”
Freya looked down at the cup in her hand and scowls. 
He laughs. “Happens to us all.”
“Yeah? How do they mess up Sean?”
“One said ‘shame’ once. I dwelled on it for the whole day. I swear I lost a deal because of it.”
Freya smiles. She glances at the floor numbers counting by. 
7
“How’s your deal going?” Sean asks.
“Good, I think. Should hear today.”
10
“Ah, that’s great.”
11
“Hey, do you-,” Sean starts.
PING
“Never mind. Good luck!”
“Thanks! See you.”
They walk off in different directions. 

After the meeting, Freya walks her clients to the lift. 
“Great job, Ms Ward. I look forward to our partnership.”
“Thank you, Mr Lewis. Take care!”

She goes back to her desk and finds a folded note. 

Well done, Fern! 
Dinner tonight? 
From your unashamed admirer

She looks over at his desk — empty. She quickly grabs a piece of paper. 

Dinner — yes!
But first, let’s grab a coffee and get you a better nickname. 
Yours,
Fern